What constitutes middle age? I don't think of myself as middle aged, but unless I'm going to live to be over 100, I guess I'm in the middle third of my life. Middle age always struck me as a category for my parents. Even though my dad's retired and my mom nearly there, I don't think of them as old. For cryin' out loud, they go to spin class four days a week and either one could outride most 30 year olds.
But yesterday I read an article on ESPN.com about Lance Armstrong wherein the author made reference to Lance's middle aged body. It struck me that Lance and I were born in the same half of the same decade. If he's middle aged, what does that make me? Can I sue the author for libel for accusing us both of something that can't possibly be true?
As far as health goes, I'm fitter and healthier now than I was in my 20's. Can I possibly be middle aged if that's the case? I'm not bald, at least not completely. I have no gray hair. Aside from my left knee, my body is more or less fully functional. I get more exercise before 9:00 a.m. than most people do all week. So how can I possibly be aging or breaking down?
Wanting to explore this topic further, I asked my kids whether they thought I was old. I asked my nine-year-old if she thought I was old. "No." was here answer. What about middle aged? She didn't know what this was, so my wife explained it to her. The answer was again negative. But she's very diplomatic by nature and would never intentionally hurt anyone's feelings.
So I asked my son, who's four and therefore unencumbered by a need to mince words for the sake of politeness (wonder where he got that?). Do you think I'm old? His answer was emphatic and came without hesitation: "Yeah!" There you have it.
As an unrelated aside, I am calling out Sam a.k.a. VH1. I haven't seen you on skis all year. What's up with that? Some people, who shall remain nameless, are questioning your manhood. Better set that alarm for 4:30, 'cuz there's storms rolling in next week.